What is Financial Crime and how does it affect me?

Financial fraud is often referred to as “white collar crime”.  Financial Crime is defined as any type of criminal conduct relating to money or to financial services or markets, including any offence involving fraud or dishonesty, misconduct or misuse of information relating to a financial market, handling the proceeds of crime or even the financing of terrorism.

There are several forms of financial crime, and it can affect businesses, individuals, organisations and even nations in some instances.

Individuals can be the victims of financial crime and very often businesses also. For example, often a business owner may find out, too late, that an employee or a person with power or control within the business has carried out some form of financial fraud, thereby exposing themselves and the company to criminal prosecution.

There are several types of financial crime, including embezzlement, internal theft, payoffs and kickbacks and skimming.

Embezzlement is the illegal use of funds by a person who controls the funds.

Internal theft involves the stealing of company assets by employees, and often results in inventory shrinkage.

Payoffs and kickbacks occur when employees accept cash or other benefits in exchange for access to the company’s business. These are more often than not a form of bribery to encourage the employee who facilitates the access to a business opportunity.

Skimming occurs when an employee takes money from receipts and doesn’t record the revenue in the company accounts so it appears that the monies were never received.

There are other types of financial crime which includes where investigations are carried out by the SFO (Serious Fraud Office), HMRC, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and the CMA (Competitions and Market Authority). There is very often an international element where serious fraud or financial crime is involved due to the ease with which funds can now be transferred around the world.

At Meaby & Co, we have extensive experience dealing with all aspects of financial crime, whether it is on behalf of a company or individual who is being investigated in relation to an allegation of fraud or financial misconduct, on behalf of an individual who has been a victim of fraud or a company whose employee or member has committed an act of financial fraud. We have dealt with matters which have an international element and have the expertise to guide you through what can be a very difficult time, whether you are an individual, a business owner or someone who is accused of a financial crime.

Contact Caoimhe Boyce at cboyce@meaby.co.uk to discuss any matters of concern further.

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